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Vol. 80, No. 3, 2013
Issue release date: October 2013
Horm Res Paediatr 2013;80:201-206

Insulin Resistance and Cardiovascular Risk Factors in 3- to 5-Year-Old Overweight or Obese Children

Bocca G. · Ongering E.C. · Stolk R.P. · Sauer P.J.J.
aDepartment of Pediatrics, Beatrix Children's Hospital, and bDepartment of Epidemiology, University of Groningen, University Medical Centre Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands

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Background/Aims: The increasing rate of overweight and obesity is alarming. The complications of overweight and obesity at a young age are largely unknown. We aimed to assess the prevalence of insulin resistance (IR) and cardiovascular risk factors among overweight and obese children aged 3-5 years. Methods: The study population consisted of 75 children (29 overweight, 46 obese). We performed anthropometry and bioelectrical impedance analysis as an indicator of body composition. IR was determined by the updated Homeostasis Model Assessment of Insulin Resistance (HOMA2-IR). Cardiovascular risk factors were defined by the presence of increased serum triglycerides, blood pressure, and HOMA2-IR and by a decreased serum HDL cholesterol. Results: An elevated HOMA2-IR was found in 7.7% of the children. HOMA2-IR was correlated with body mass index (r = 0.63), waist circumference (r = 0.62) and percentage body fat (r = 0.58) (all p < 0.001). Cardiovascular risk factors were present in 6.9% (triglycerides) to 74.3% (hypertension) of the children. Conclusion: IR and cardiovascular risk factors are already evident in many 3- to 5-year-old overweight and obese children. IR is strongly related to body composition.

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